Last week the SCUG community held an event covering all major System Center products. The first part was all about System Center Service Manager; implementing, customizing, and extending the product. Also a project overview about integrating Service Manager into an environment. The next topic was more about our interest: SCCM & PowerShell by Kim Oppalfens. Kim demonstrates how to add new computers to a collection using PowerShell with less lines and easier to read than VBScript. He showed the use of PowerShell in Task Sequences. And something we all love; code examples. The SCCM 2007 SDK contains tons of PowerShell examples which we can reuse! Take look at this blog post on Technet as a start.
Next runner up was Wally Mead, who we met before on a previous SCUG event. He talked about the similarities and changes in Software Distribution with Configuration Manager vNext. This was a very informative session, with working demos and some typical Wally Mead jokes 🙂 From his session, we learned some of the new features and the slight different approach in vNext’s software distribution. An user-centric approach that is, giving users more flexibility to switch between multiple devices and networks.
A part of this user-centric approach is a better integration with App-V, to deliver applications to users, instead of limiting software delivery to computers. For example, an owner of a computer will get his software deployed like before. But if he logs on to another machine, not all his software will be deployed to that computer. He will be presented with the virtual version of his software (through App-V or RDP/TS), which is a time and bandwidth saver.
Like I said above, vNext has an option to tie user(s) to a computer (User Device Affinity). This can be used in combination with Requirements and Conditions, to deliver software for example.
User Device Affinity provides the ability to define a relationship between a user and a device. It allows the admin to think “user first”, while also ensuring the application not being installed everywhere the user logs on.
Configuration Manager v.Next supports:
- Single primary user to primary device
- Multiple primary devices per user
- Multiple primary users per device
The system allows both the administrator and user to define this relationship. It can be set in different ways. Based on usage threshold on the client, using an import file from external system, as part of the OSD, end-user through the Software Catalog and manual by an Administrator.
User Device Affinity allows the deployment of software-based on the nature of the relationship between the user and device. Each software can have multiple “installation-scenarios”. For example, we created 3 scenarios on how to install Outlook:
- It can be installed physically on the computer (MSI)
- It can be installed virtually (App-V)
- Check your mail online (OWA, Outlook Web Access)
When a user logs on to his computer where he is the owner of, you use scenario 1 and install the MSI. When a user logs on to a computer of his colleague, we don’t want to install outlook on the pc. Here we use scenario 2. And when he logs on to a computer, where he is not the owner of and no AppV-client is installed, we create a shortcut that leads him to the OWA or a RDP session to a TS (scenario 3).
So it doesn’t matter where the user logs on, he can always use his software and check his email.
A big improvement in vNext is that you can control exactly when to install the software.
Wally also showed us On Demand Software installation via a webportal. This way users can request software, and a manager must approve this request. This saves time for both the users and the IT staff.
You can find all sessions at the bottom of this post, we can suggest Wally’s session about vNext, it’s worth the time!
vNext official name will be System Center Configuration Manager 2012 so let’s start using this name.
We would like to thank the SCUG-team to organize this kind of events. Good Job!
Stijn & Ben.
08.30 – 09.00
Keynote by Alexandre Verkinderen & Kenny Buntinx
09.00 – 10.15
Implementing, Customizing, and Extending System Center Service Manager by Travis Wright
10.30 – 11.30
Pre-assessment of System Center Service Manager by Kurt Van Hoecke & Ricardo Noulez
11.30 – 12.30
SCCM and that overrated Dos-box replacement by Kim Oppalfens
13.30 – 15.00
Software Distribution in Configuration Manager v.Next – Similarities and Changes by Wally Mead
15.00 – 16.00
R3 power management : Lessons learned from the field by Kenny Buntinx
16.15 – 17.15
System Center Data Protection Manger 2010 in the datacenter by Jason Bufington
17.15 – 18.00
System Center in the Datacenter by Alexandre Verkinderen & co